If you’ve ever tried to register a domain name and have found that someone has beaten you to it then it can be a frustrating exercise. That feeling of frustration is multiplied several times over if that name has been ‘parked’ with a view to selling it back to you at an inflated price.
If you’re familiar with this scenario then think how you would feel if you were asked to pay over a million dollars for the domain you desire. Here are 10 of those names that made their owners millionaires.
1. Sex.com – $13,000,000
OK so it’s not the most subtle of names with which to begin but this is by far the biggest selling domain name to date. It may only be slightly reassuring to learn that in the early days of the internet, the cost for registering a name was considerably higher than the few pounds or dollars that you need to part with today.
Even with that thought in mind, feel free to join the rest of us in banging our heads on the table for not thinking of buying this name first. Ironically, banging of a different kind can now be found on the site itself but if you’re reading this at work, we wouldn’t advise taking a look.
2. Fund.com – $9,999,950
Maybe not the most obvious choice but to its new owner, fund.com was worth a shade under $10m when it was purchased in March 2008.
The website covers everything in the financial world that you would expect from the domain but the name itself might suggest that there are other gems that could be picked up for a few dollars and ‘flipped’ – sold on for enough money to head over to fund.com and find something to invest it in.
3. Porn.com – $9,500,000
The eagle eyed among you might have spotted something of a theme developing here. Sold in May 2007 the value of the name is evident to its new owner.
The content is self-explanatory so there’s no need to click on it, particularly if you’re on a work computer but suffice to say it’s not about walking holidays in the Lake District.
4. Fb.com – $8,500,000
FB.com? It’s just a random set of initials isn’t it? Or did somebody hit the wrong key when they were trying to buy FT.com?
Random though those letters may sound they obviously meant a lot to Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook whose organisation paid $8,500,000 for fb.com in 2010 and directed it to their main website. This is worth bearing in mind when the next internet phenomenon comes along.
5. Diamond.com – $7,500,000
Another purchase whose site does exactly what it says on the domain registry. The finest jewellery is available to buy at this portal at the prices necessary to recoup an outlay of seven and a half million dollars.
6. Beer.com – $7,000,000
Of course! If men aren’t thinking about the kind of web content found in websites 1 and 3 then we’re going to be thinking about beer as a fall back.
As such, the seven million dollars paid for this in 2004 makes perfect sense but sadly there isn’t much to see over at beer.com. This appears to be one of those parked domains but if you want to ask about buying the name, make sure you have around $10 million burning a hole in your pocket.
7. Casino.com – $5,500,000
Online gambling is another boom area of the internet and casino.com is a thriving website with all the games here that you can play in the physical world. With the immense amounts of money changing hands at portals such as this, the only real surprise is that it didn’t fetch a higher price.
The answer to that puzzle comes in the sale date of November 2003. Were it to be put up for sale today we would expect casino.com to challenge for number one slot on this list.
8. Slots.com – $5,500,000
The presumably happy owners of slots.com paid the same amount of money as the lucky purchaser of casino.com. If you’re not familiar with the terminology then ‘slots’ cover a multitude of slot machines (for those of a certain age that’s fruit machines and if you’re drawing your pension it’s a one-armed bandit).
The respective sales took place seven years apart which rather backs up our opinion that the more obvious casino.com might fetch twice that price in today’s market.
9. Toys.com – $5,100,000
Is there a double entendre behind this name or has the mind been warped by writing about the likes of sex.com and porn.com? Sadly, it’s the latter as toys.com is merely an innocent portal giving you the best deals from ToysRUs and Fisher Price.
ToysRUs purchased the domain after a heated auction with National A-1 (owners of domains such as free.com, boys.com and divorce.com) back in 2009. The synonymous real estate, branding and SEO benefits of the domain must have been judged to be lucrative enough to reclaim over five million dollars in what is admittedly a massive industry.
10. Asseenontv.com – $5,000,000
Way back in what seems like mediaeval times now, the year 2000 saw asseenontv.com sell for a cool five million dollars.
That all makes sense though doesn’t it? This was at the birth of reality TV when purchasing this name must have been a shrewd investment but for some reason it’s another parked domain with very little on it. A curious end to a very intriguing list.
Can you think of any big ones we have missed, or have you sold a domain name for a substantial sum before? Get involved in the comments below.